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Egypt Pope orders first post-revolution count of Christian population
A census to be conducted by the Coptic church will be its first to tally Christians from all denominations in Egypt to counter official attempts at under-counting Egypt's largest religious minority
Nada Hussein Rashwan, Monday 31 Oct 2011
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Pope Shenouda
Pope Shenouda III (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s Pope Shenouda III has ordered a census of the country’s entire Christian population to be conducted through committees accountable to the Church.

Information forms will be distributed and collected by dioceses across the country and submitted to provincial bishoprics.  Results will then be compiled and submitted directly to the Pope.

The Church’s census will for the first time include all the Christian denominations in Egypt, not just the Coptic Orthodox, which constitutes the largest Christian denomination in Egypt.

It will also be the first in post-revolution Egypt. Prior to the uprising, there were significant differences between government estimates of the Coptic population and those of the Church.

An unofficial census, conducted by a number of Christian organisations in cooperation with the Church, published figures on Sunday showing the entire Christian population of Egypt neared 17 million, around 20 per cent of the population.

The latest government estimates of the Egyptian Christian population stated they made up around 4 per cent (around 3.3 million) of the total population of around 83 million. This figure was refuted by Pope Shenouda III in 2008, who said the Coptic Orthodox population on its own made up around 12 million.

In 2009, a US report stated that religious minorities in Egypt made up around 5% of the total population. The report was accepted by the Vatican but rejected by the Egyptian Church.



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Cornelis Hulsman
12-11-2011 05:57pm
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discussion on Coptic statistics result of lack of transparancy
In 2008 I interviewed Dr. Philippe Fargues, a French demographer who has researched Coptic statistics and wrote a book and several articles about this. He, and also other scholars, are convinced that the church figures are highly inflated. The reasons are primarily in double counting and the church lacking a verifiable method of counting. This was confirmed by several bishops and priests. Look for example at this paper of Elizabeth Edwards: http://www.arabwestreport.info/coptic-orthodox-statistics-and-migration-maghaghah Christian migration to the cities and west greatly increased but priests are still counting those migrants as belonging to their communities and with good reasons because they often still contribute to the churches were they grew up. I asked a month ago the bishops Agathon and Paphnotius in Upper Egypt who said they have no statistics of their own dioceses, and they are not the only bishops who do not have figures. Thus Pope Shenouda cannot know the figures of his chu
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Dr. Youssef Habib
12-11-2011 05:03am
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To "mona, wrong picture": This is a very correct picture
Dear Mona, (wrong picture), What you say is fully wrong! This is a true picture of Pope Shenouda, and behind him you see a photo of Christ protruding from the Wooden Chair of the Patriarch of Alexadria, mostly in the Coptic Cathedra of Anba Roweiss in Abbsiyya Cairo.. As we see, the Pope wears on his head a royal cap which is also quite similar to the ones worn by bishops in the Greek Orthodox church. Still this picture portrayed by CNN has nothing to do with the Greek Orthodox Church in Heliopolis, which happened to be my native church, where I was baptised as a baby!!! Youssef Habib Egyptian a2zconference@gmail.com
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Taz
03-11-2011 09:15pm
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Does it matter?.
5% or 20% should not make any difference, christainty is embbedded in Egypt's culture and history and the Egyptian church contributed immensley to the world Christdom (see Origen of Alexandria 185-254 AD), so they should have the full rights as their fellow Muslims. After all, the majority of us in Egypt had a christian great great grand parents
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abebe eshetu
03-11-2011 03:42pm
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orthodox
please read this title revolution 2 no `1 up to 10 second orthodox means ortho means in a greak word streat dox means religion. i am from Ethiopian orthodox my name is abebe eshetu.thank you
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Ramy El Masry
02-11-2011 12:05am
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Much more
I think Egypt's Christian population is about 17-18 million the least, but we will see... The CIA World Factbook says that they are 9% of the population, the Egyptian Goverment (which is by the way corrupted) says they are 4%, while the Coptic Church alone says they are 20% (the church has all the names of christian people filed) so i think the more reliable trust worthy source would be the church
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The Editor
01-11-2011 02:34pm
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church pic
Thank you for your comment. We have replaced the picture. We might note however that the census the Coptic Pope has asked to be conducted will cover all Christian denominations in Egypt.
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mona
01-11-2011 01:56pm
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wrong picture
Hello... your pic of the church is the Byzantine church in Heliopolis.. that's not a Coptic church. So out of all the Coptic churches in Heliopolis, you chose the wrong one?! It's not the same thing. I'm not Christian, but even I know that! Change it if u consider yourself professionals. Thank you.
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Merille
31-10-2011 07:12pm
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Christians in Egypt
I think Christians in Egypt are no more than 5% of the population.
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